The serious dangers electric vehicles present

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2023 | Personal Injury |

Electric vehicles continue to grow in prominence on roads throughout the United States. While hailed as safer for the environment, a trade-off exists when it comes to the sheer weight of the cars and the potential dangers they present.

Initial testing of electric vehicles from 2011 focused on hard-to-control risks due to batteries igniting, starting fires that presented challenges in putting out. That resulted in special procedures that monitor voltage and temperature, not to mention having a local fire department on site. While no fires occurred in 55 crash tests, concerns still surround the batteries.

The impact of battery size

Still, the extra weight of the batteries and vehicles has an impact on road safety, with lighter vehicle drivers and occupants most at risk. Current EVs on the market exceed 6,000 pounds, with a GMC Hummer EV at 9,500.

When it comes to two vehicles colliding regardless of weight, the heavier vehicle pushes the lighter one backward, resulting in more force affecting the occupants of the less-heavy car. Two EVs involved in a collision could result in devastating consequences for any other drivers sharing the road.

Pedestrians and bicyclists are in particular peril regardless of the weight of any type of motorized vehicle. A vehicle with an EV battery can make a bad situation that much worse, even if the weight differential is nominal. Threats to walkers and bicycle riders from large vehicles have more to do with the height and shape that impact visibility.

Regarding accidents involving electric cars, the jury remains out on the true literal and figurative impact. Testing and higher safety standards are paramount when considering the growing popularity of EVs that could exceed traditional, gas-powered motor vehicles.